Germany captain Philipp Lahm has said he is glad to have been left out of his country's forthcoming friendlies as the Bayern Munich star is rested by German coach Joachim Loew with big games looming.
Lahm misses Friday's away friendly against the Ukraine in Kiev and the home international with the Netherlands in Hamburg on Wednesday November 15, but is happy to be given some time to rest after a busy start to the season.
"I have been playing consistently for six years, for both club and country," said Lahm.
"I get on average about 50 games a season, so it's only right that I should take a break."
After five appearances for Germany, 12 German league matches for Bayern, six Champions League games and a single German cup appearance, Lahm has already played a total of 24 matches this season.
Even though he sits out Germany's forthcoming matches, he has a busy schedule coming up with Bayern hosting defending champions Borussia Dortmund on November 19 and then Villarreal's Champions League visit three days later.
Germany coach Joachim Loew has said he wanted to rest his captain with the national team looking to win their fourth European title at Euro 2012 next June.
"He plays a lot of games every season and normally over the 90 minutes," said Loew.
"So he gets a break now and I have the opportunity to look at alternatives at left-back."
Both Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer and Hamburg's Dennis Aogo are two likely candidates to start in Lahm's position on the left side of defence.